Wildlife Killing Contests (WKCs) are organized events in which participants compete for prizes for killing the most and/or largest animals within a specific time period. The animals commonly targeted are those often considered predators and pests, such as coyotes, raccoons, foxes.
These contests are incredibly inhumane, and it has been reported that Pennsylvania has more Wildlife Killing Contests than anywhere else in the country.
WKCs are brutal and unsportsmanlike, even in the eyes of most hunters. Targeted animals are killed en masse without regard to ethical hunting procedures. The bodies of the animals are typically dumped like garbage once the prizes are awarded. In part because participants often use electronic calling devices and hunting dogs, WKCs have no notion of fair chase, the fundamental hunting ethic that dictates that the hunter should not gain an unfair advantage over the hunted.
Participants exploit misunderstanding and fear around species like coyotes and claim that by killing them in contests, they are helping to protect livestock, pets, and increase numbers of game species like deer and turkeys. However, there is no scientific proof about these claims, and many studies even show that these contests do more harm than good.
What is HAP doing about it?
In 2020, HAP procured Writs of Council and Proclamations condemning Wildlife Killing Contests from the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Bellevue, Sharpsburg, and Monessen. We met with dozens of legislators and the Pennsylvania Game Commission throughout 2020 to discuss the issue.
In May 2020, in partnership with Project Coyote and Animal Wellness Action, HAP hosted a screening of the documentary “The Killing Games” to educate the general public about Wildlife Killing Contests.
How You Can Help
Contact the PA Game Commission to express your disgust with these cruel and unsporting contests.